Today we would like to introduce you to another company we really like: Lust auf besser leben gGmbh. Lust auf besser leben is based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and its mission is to promote sustainable action in business and society, and thus sustainable development, through its idealistic and service-based offerings.
We support sustainable development locally through our web guide for sustainable living and shopping, through campaigns in the areas of neighbourhood and regional development, concepts and projects on topics such as “inclusion”, “plastic-free” or “climate protection” as well as with “Good Growth” – our consulting and education portfolio with a special focus on participation-oriented processes.
What we particularly love about the work of Lust auf besser leben: ethical values, strong network and sustainable action!
3 quick questions for sustainability consultant and managing partner Marlene Haas
Marlene founded Lust auf besser leben gGmbH together with Alexandra in 2014. Her responsibilities include sustainable neighbourhood and regional development as well as the conception and implementation of innovative projects, campaigns and events. We are happy that Marlene gives us an insight into her vision and work – let the interview begin!
1. What is the idea behind your company and how do you contribute to a better future?
Marlene: The former UN Secretary-General from 2007 to 2016, Ban-Ki Moon, once said: “We can be the first generation to succeed in eradicating poverty, just as we could be the last to have the chance to save our planet.” For me, this quote contains not only a clear warning about the consequences of our economic activity, but also a hopeful and motivating message: we have the power to turn the tide.
With this fundamental conviction, I founded the non-profit company Lust auf besser leben gGmbH in 2014. The idea is still to support the implementation of the Agenda 2030 goals in our region – through educational work and campaigns, by advising municipalities and companies, and above all with our network of sustainability ambassadors. These are local small businesses that train themselves in the area of sustainable management, whose needs we can address through thematic campaigns (on reusable packaging, the supply chain, etc.) and who support each other in their development.
Over time, we have discovered that although there are many possible new behavioural patterns and adjusting screws, many do not move from knowledge to action. That’s why we use our proximity to local businesses and civil society in the Rhine-Main region to try out and refine new ideas on a small (regional) scale. For example, in 2018 we launched a challenge in which we bet against the city that we would manage to set up a cup deposit system in two neighbourhoods. Back then – unlike today – the politicians didn’t believe in it.
But we quickly had enough local gastronomy and participants to prove the opposite and ensure that there is now a municipal deposit system with the #MainBecher. In short: We work with non-profit projects to implement the Agenda goals and can use our services such as sustainability consulting for companies, moderation of participation processes for municipal clients or the preparation of climate balances to subsidise our so-called “ideal” area and are thus less dependent on funding.
2. How do “social” and “travel” fit together for you?
Marlene: It fits together perfectly if I, as a traveler, think about which country and which culture I want to travel to beforehand and am open to getting to grips with it. That’s why I find your idea so exciting. As an individual, it is not always easy to find local projects that are meaningful. Sometimes it’s language barriers, sometimes it’s simply a distance that can’t be overcome as a stranger. For me, however, the issue of climate-neutral travel is equally important.
3. What makes you especially proud when you think of Lust auf besser Leben?
Marlene: When I think about my first “baby,” I’m proud that we’ve become a really cool team. In terms of staff, there was some upheaval and we started when hardly anyone was willing to pay money for “sustainability”. As a result, the work situation was sometimes really precarious and my business partner and I are lucky that we somehow managed to turn the corner and didn’t end up completely burnt out – which is certainly also due to our relationship with each other. But even today, when we have established ourselves as a non-profit company, it is not always easy to manage so many different and often tightly calculated projects. That’s only possible with a really great team.
Thank you very much for the exciting interview, Marlene! If you’re interested in other companies we really like, feel free to check out this blog post about Berlin-based TRUESDAY. Don’t miss any more news about social travel and our outstanding socialbnbs – sign up for our newsletter. Every month, we’ll be giving away an overnight stay at one of our socialbnbs to newsletter subscribers. So go ahead and try your luck!